A KEEN cyclist who pedalled across America has got back on his bike in memory of his niece.

Scott Wallace set off from Land’s End last Wednesday (May 4) and aims to reach John O’Groats by next Thursday (May 19).

During the more than 850-mile pedal, he is aiming to raise £5,000, which will be split between The St James’s Place Charitable Foundation, The Jess Mackie Memorial Fund and East Coast FM.

Fourteen-year-old Jess, who lived in Gullane, tragically passed away in January 2018.

Her mum and dad, Jackie and Michael, set up the Jess Mackie Memorial Fund, with money being used to provide music therapy.

Scott, who is married to Jackie’s sister Janey, said: “Jess was just full of life.

“She was so positive, her energy and enthusiasm, in particular her love for music.

“She just had a raw talent and it was just a lovely thing seeing her being so excited about things like that.

“We spent every Christmas with her and the family and she loved Christmas.

“I have got so many memories about her being so excited and being the centre of what was going on that family day.

“Family was very important to her and she was a very caring girl.”

Fifty-one-year-old Scott spoke to the Courier on Tuesday afternoon as he reached Manchester.

Each day, he has been setting off by about 8.30am and clocking up 75 miles before calling it a day.

The gruelling cycle will take him to one of mainland Scotland’s most northerly points before he returns home to Gullane.

He said: “I do like my food and drink and I can eat what I want just now!

“I cannot get enough liquid in me.

“I am burning about 5,000 to 6,000 calories a day.

“That first taste of beer is pretty good!”

Before setting off, Scott, who has his own financial planning business, set a fundraising target of £5,000.

He hoped to split the money with £2,000 going to the Jess Mackie Memorial Fund, a further £2,000 to The St James’s Place Charitable Foundation, who focus on helping children and young people who have special needs or are disadvantaged, both in the UK and overseas, and £1,000 going to Haddington-based East Coast FM, where he volunteers.

The father-of-two said: “The fundraising is going great.

“Before I set off, I had almost reached about 50 per cent of my target and I think today I am over 60 per cent.

“I fully expect as I near completion or when I complete it there will be a little flurry of activity.”

Scott, who lives on Gullane Main Street, is no stranger to getting in the saddle for a long distance cycle.

Ten years ago, after leaving Bank of Scotland, he set off on a long held dream of cycling across America.

The 3,500-kilometre trip took him between nine and 10 weeks as he cycled from Virginia to Portland.

He said: “It’s traditional that you stick your back wheel in the Atlantic Ocean and two months later when you reach the west it is obligatory that you stick your front wheel in the Pacific Ocean.

“It was great fun.”

Members of the public can make a donation by going to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/scott-wallace

The money will be divided up between the three good causes.